Local Head Start centers accepting applicants

Free preschool provides quality in-person and remote learning

Lake County Head Start if currently taking applications for in-person and virtual classrooms. (Submitted photo)

Lake County Head Start if currently taking applications for in-person and virtual classrooms. (Submitted photo)

LAKE COUNTY — Parents can take part in a great opportunity in these times when routines are drastically disrupted due to COVID-19.

Head Start offers four days a week, Monday through Thursday services.

Using technology, FiveCAP Head Start is meeting children’s needs to create early critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence with in-person classroom and remote learning.

Openings are available at the FiveCAP Head Start Center in Lake County for both in-person and remote learning.

The free program is open to families eligible whose household income is up to 130% of the federal poverty level. Support services such as transportation are available at no cost.

In-person classroom size is limited to 10 children and two adults, in compliance with State Child Care licensing rules to minimize the spread of COVID-19. There are still openings available for classroom and remote learning.

Remote learning is structured so each day parents call in for attendance. Teachers will follow lesson plans with daily contact using FaceTime, Zoom and/or YouTube for activities and daily lesson plans. Parents also can log in through their email to access suggestions of activities to do at home.

Remote learners receive an age-appropriate learning tablet programmed with many fun activities and lessons. The special touch-screen tablet also allows the teacher to track and access each child’s progress in real time. New activities are uploaded to help the student move to the next level.

“This process keeps up with individual lesson planning, allowing both the child and parents to work with us toward kindergarten readiness,” said Lisa Fisher, Head Start Education/Disabilities Coordinator.

Kindergarten readiness is measured through seven childhood development domains: social/emotional, physical, language and communication, math, phonics, social studies, science and technology. With activities and lessons focused on these domains, teachers assess whether a child is not there yet, making progress, or is ready for kindergarten, Fisher added.

Parents enrolling their children in a classroom at a FiveCAP Head Start center, can be assured all precautions are being taken to observe COVID-19 protocols to keep children, families and staff safe, while providing the best normal learning environment possible.

Screening and temperatures checks are taken prior to entering the center or riding the bus. Close contact is minimized in the classroom and during transportation, and parents are not allowed in the centers. Masks are worn during transportation and in the classroom by both students and staff. Each classroom undergoes extra cleaning and sanitization protocols several times a day and as needed.

For more information on FiveCAP Head Start, contact the Robert F. Williams Community & Family Service Center in Baldwin at 231-745-6254. Applications and enrollment information also are available on FiveCAP’s website, www.fivecap.org.